Army Life – The Big Day – Announcements – November, 1943

This appeared in the South Pasadena Review in November, 1943, announcing Marian Irwin’s engagement to Alfred Guion.

*************************************************

Mr. and Mrs. Mowry A. Irwin

announce the marriage of their daughter

Marian

to

Mr. Alfred P. Guion

Army of the United States

on Sunday, the fourteenth of November

Nieteen hundred and forty-three

Berkeley, California

 

Advertisements

Army Life – Lad’s First Letter Home (2) – Conclusion of Lad’s First Letter Home – May, 1942

 

Lad - 1943

Wed.

Due to the issue of rifles last night, I did not have time to complete this letter. And it looks as though I may not have time to finish it tonight. We are to have a lecture at 8 PM and that is only a short time distant. If anyone tells you that we are busy, just let it pass as an understatement. Boy, from 5:45 until 9:00, with the exception of about 30 minutes at noon and 1½ hours in the evening, we do not have time to even think for ourselves. To say nothing of heeding “Mother Nature”.

May 23

I was right. I could not finish it, and then since there was to be an inspection today, we spent all free time yesterday thoroughly cleaning the barracks. Outside and in. Then today for a diet we had drilling all morning, an inspection/review early in the afternoon, a rigid inspection later in the barracks, and then about 40 of us were marched a couple of miles to the infirmary, given two injections, and marched back again. Right now my right arm is so stiff that I have to use only my fingers and wrist to write. And incidentally, I don’t feel too hot. Oh! Yes. – Yesterday we were given our first rifle practice on an indoor range. I didn’t do too bad, but nowhere nearly as well as Dan.

From things that have been said at various places and by various people who should know. – Ordnance work and the Ordnance Department of the US Army rates second to none. Not even the Engineering Corps. Apparently, eight men out of 1000 get far enough to make the necessary qualifications for this department, and then, to make things even better, of those picked men, two out of 1000 get a chance to qualify for and Instructor’s rating and the Officer’s Training Course. I am among the latter few, and that really makes me feel good. I just hope that I can live up to the honor when my chance comes. I believe that if things go for me as they have been planned at present, I will be stationed here at Aberdeen Proving Grounds  (A.P.G.) (Lad’s initials – Alfred Peabody Guion) for six months or even for the duration. In any case, Ordnance men are not trained to fight except as a means of self-protection, and the main idea, roughly, is to supply the men on the lines with ammunition, and equipment for fighting. We are the men behind the men on the front. Apparently, I have been picked to act as an instructor in automotive repair and maintenance. Well, so much for Army Life, here. I received your letter O.K., but I’m afraid that it will not be as easy as you seem to think to write regularly for a few weeks anyway. I am busier than the proverbial bee. Time out.

Sunday –

Those injections plus a cold got me. I quit, planning to take a short rest, but the first thing I knew it was just 9 PM and the corporal was saying one minute before lights out, so I didn’t have time to write more.

Breakfast on Sundays is at 7:00 and then I spent the rest of the morning washing clothes and cleaning my equipment in general. Then, immediately after lunch we fell out with rifles and had an inspection of arms. Then, following this, we went on a hike of about 5 or 6 miles, with cartridge belt, first aid kit and leggins. We returned in time for supper and then – here I am.

Quarantine will be up one week from tomorrow night. Then, if I am lucky, I will be able to get a pass for the weekend.

However, in the meantime, I would appreciate very much your sending me 10 clothes hangers. Two of them, steel. It is impossible to get hangers here.

I heard from Babe (Cecelia Mullins, the girl he’s been dating back home) Sat. but have not received any other mail. And speaking of mail, can you give me Dan’s address?

APG - Aberdeen Proving Grounds insignia

How do you like the Ordnance Emblem? The department colors are yellow and crimson. The insignia is a flaming bomb.

In order to shorten the address you may use the abbreviations as shown below: – remember me to everyone and my love to Aunt Betty.

Pvt. ______(me)____

Co B – 1st Bn. – O.R.T.C.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds

Md.

Love —–

Lad

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa to his sons away from home. On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures. Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1943, just after Lad and Marian’s wedding.  

Judy Guion 

Army Life – Lad’s First Letter Home (1) – Lad’s First Week in the Army – May, 1942

 

This is the first page of 11, a long letter to Grandpa telling him of all of his adventures after leaving Grandpa at the Railroad Station in Shelton/Derby, CT, on May 14, 1942.

APG - First letter to Grandpa from Aberdeen Proving Grounds - May 18, 1942

Pvt. A.P. Guion

Co. B 14 Bn ORTC

Aberdeen Proving Ground

Md.

May 18, 1942

Dear Dad: –

We left Derby on time and stopped at Ansonia. Here a second car was filled, and after a stop at Waterbury the third car was filled and our next stop was Hartford. Here we detrained at a few minutes before nine and walked about 1 ½ blocks to the Induction Center. There were so many of us that the complete inspection was not over until 2:45. The actual inspection per person was not more than 30 or 35 min., if that much. At 3 PM the 88 who had passed the examinations out of 169, were put into a separate car and in a few minutes a train coupled onto the car and we were off. The train stopped nowhere until it got to Worchester, Mass. Here a switch engine hooked onto our car and while the train went on, we were switched back and forth, and ended up on the track going in the opposite direction. Here another train picked us up and again we were off. Our next stop was in Ayer, Mass., where there is no platform of any kind. The tracks run through the backyard of Camp Devens. Here, with our baggage, we were again given a short march and after a little discussion concerning behavior in the camp we were issued raincoats and a barracks bag, another hike to Co. B, 1st Bn., and we were issued blankets. Incidentally, we detrained at Fort Devens at 5:40, 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Then came supper and bed making instructions and we were more than glad to turn in at 9:00.

Friday we rose at 5:45 A.M., policed the barracks and fell out for breakfast. Immediately after that we were taken to Q.M.C. and issued our uniforms. What a system. It takes about four or five minutes from the time you start, stark naked, til you emerge at the other end very well fitted from the skin out, and in six complete uniforms with two complete changes of everything else. Then came an Aptitude test – lunch – and a private interview. Back to the theater to be shown a film on the evil side of sex, a couple of short welcome speeches – supper – a couple of fallout calls to advise some of the men that they were leaving early Sat. morning and then to bed.

Sat – up at 5:45 and out for reveille where 10 fellows and myself were told we would be ready to leave at 7:15. A rush to breakfast, again to the medical section for injections and a vaccination, back again for clothes and we fell out at 7:21 for the trip to wherever it was. We were marched out to the same lot at which we detrained when we first arrived and here we were told to wait for further orders. We waited until 8:30 and then were assembled and marched back to the road again, a distance of a couple of hundred yards and were put onto a truck. By truck we were taken a few miles to Fitchburg where we again waited and at 9:21 a train pulled in. At the rear was a special car and we were loaded into this. By now we numbered 44. A sergeant was in charge. He would give us no information as to where we were going, not even if it were a long trip. However with spirits undaunted, we had a good time. At Greenfield, Mass., we were shunted again and changed direction of travel from west to south. Our next stop was at Springfield where we were put onto a siding and taken into the station for lunch. After lunch we boarded the car again and in a couple of minutes another train backed up and again we were off. We stopped at Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford and Penn Station. We were ordered not to mail anything or make phone calls until we arrived at our destination, so I could not write anything to you. A half hour stop in Penn. Station, while a Penn. Engine was put on in place of the New Haven, during which time we ate a box lunch, and then began a real ride. On the New Haven road we had made good time, and only a few stops, but the track was quite rough and I don’t think we traveled better than 45 or 50 M.P.H. The first stop on the new leg was at Newark and then began a fast non-stop trip. The only times we slowed down below 75 M.P.H. (according to my figuring – the mile posts were going by every 44 or 45 seconds) was when we switched from the local track to the express or vice versa. On this trip we passed two freight trains, two locals and one express. All of them moving. It took about 2 ½ or 3 miles to pass the express, but we did it. Our next stop was Philadelphia, then Wilmington and then Aberdeen. Here, to our surprise, we all got off and were taken by truck, in the rain, to our present location (see the letterhead). We were issued blankets, assigned to barracks and were glad to go to bed even though it was only 9:30.

Sunday we had nothing to do, and also being in quarantine for a two-week period, we could do nothing. I acquainted myself as well as I could with in our limited grounds, about 2000 x 1000 feet, and made a few purchases at the PX (Camp store – Post Exchange) which we are lucky enough to have within grounds and again retired.

Monday began our training and was spent in learning marching fundamentals.

Today, Tuesday, we heard from a few of the Big Shots on the duties of the Ordnance Dept., and this afternoon, more drilling. Just now we are having an inspection of all equipment issued to us. And so will end today. And, believe me, we are all glad to hit the hay at 9:00 P.M. when the lights go out.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter from Lad to his Dad, my Grandpa, all about his first experiences in and with the Army after his induction. Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his three sons away from home: Ced in Anchorage, Alaska, working as an airplane mechanic; Dan, being trained as an Army surveyor in Pennsylvania and Lad, who has just been inducted and is at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Judy Hardy

Trumbull – Dear Tripartite (2) – Bits and Pieces of Trumbull News – May, 1942

page 2     5/17/42

ADG - Gas Rationing Card - 1945

 Sample Gas Rationing Card

Well, gas rationing days are over here. Dick, (Paul) Warden and I each obtained a ?-? card but Zeke could only get an A-3, so Elizabeth will not be visiting Trumbull so frequently as of yore.

Red came home this weekend and informs me he was turned down by the Naval Reserves and the Marines, so he, too, will be in the Army. Charley Hall however, he says, made the grade, due presumably to his engineering training. Red’s roommate received some notice asking if you would like to work in Alaska, and immediately Red sent to the same source for a similar application.

"The Good Times" - 1939 Arnold Gibson (Gibby), Charlie Kurtz and Carl Wayne The Red Horse Station

“The Good Times” – 1939
Arnold Gibson (Gibby), Charlie Kurtz and Carl                                         Wayne
                 The Red Horse Station

The Ives and Carl and Ethel (Wayne), are intending to take a trip up to the Adirondacks and get in some fishing. Carl has not decided whether he will try to keep the station going under all the new handicaps, or not.

No words of cheer to the old base last week from either of the three absent sons, so I am much in the position of the radio announcer who keeps on broadcasting without knowing whether his message is getting across to his audience or even whether he has an audience.

My business continues in the doldrums, some weeks the expense of doing business exceeding the income and some just enough over to make me feel it might be worthwhile to hang on until things take a turn for the better. I’ve just got enough tenacity of purpose in my makeup so I don’t easily give up, I guess.

Cora Beach died last week. Mrs. Burr Beach is now running the library. Jimmy Smith has been ill in the hospital but I understand is home again and better. Lad went down to see the New Rochelle relatives just before he left and reports all well.

Enclosed with this note, Ced, old dear, is a birthday card from Aunt Betty, which she asked me to address and send for her. Dick is over getting Dan’s car filled up with gas in the hope and expectation he might come back with Barbara who goes to visit him on the 22nd. Dick just finished and sent in his questionnaire last week and has now received a card to fill in as sort of an occupational guide to enable the Army authorities, I suppose, to fit him in where his experience and training would seem to promise best results. He spends about half his time in Stratford these days, although from now on, the gas rationing may possibly cramp his style a bit.

Lilac Bush

Lilac Bush

This will probably be the last week for the lilacs but the iris are coming along nicely, and is also the grass, particularly after last night’s rain.

The news stream got down to a trickle in the last paragraph with a few drops left for this one and has now ceased entirely as I shall also, with the usual greetings (I shall forbear saying anything about writing soon, as being entirely superfluous). So with best wishes from the home folks, I shall sign off, as usual, from

DAD

Tomorrow and Thursday, Lad’s first letter to Grandpa, telling him of his experiences since saying good-bye to his Dad at the Derby Railroad Station. I’ll finish out the week with another letter from Grandpa to the three boys away from home.

Judy Guion

Induction Booklet “FALL-IN” – May, 1942

For the Greatest Generation, it was an honor and a privilege to serve and defend their country. The following excerpts are taken from a pamphlet called “FALL IN”,” Greetings to the men who serve today from your comrades of 1917 and 1918″. It was presented by the American Legion to my father, Lad, on May 14th, 1942, the day he reported for duty.

APG - FALL IN, May 14, 1942 (cover)

APG - FALL IN - May 14, 1942 - (insdide cover)

APG - FALL IN - May 14, 1942 (Contents)

 

 WHAT YOU ARE DEFENDING

Life….. Liberty….. Pursuit of Happiness

Right to Hold Property

Brotherhood of Free Peoples….. Equality of Man

The Constitution, Including the Bill of Rights

American Way of Life

THE FOUR FREEDOMS

“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”

  1. Freedom of speech and expression
  2. Freedom for everyone to worship according to his own faith
  3. Freedom from want – poverty is a crime today
  4. Freedom from fear – “Sic Semper Tyrannies”

FOREWARD

This booklet could properly be titled, “Letters from a sailor father to his son.” It is a welcome to comradeship from the members of the American Legion to those young men who are now entering upon the greatest experience of their lives. They have become Service Men in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Members of the American Legion, without exception, wore the uniform of the United States with outstanding honor during the great war, now sometimes termed World War I. They were honorably discharged after the emergency but they have never ceased to serve their country. They have displayed great interest in the problems of their country; they have manifested that interest at all times by serving in peace as they served in war.

But now we are at war. Our nation has been attacked. We are starting NOW to build – to build for the preservation of freedom and the homes we love:

Therefore at a time when these forces are being expanded, trained and made ready to defend our beloved country, at any cost necessary, the American Legion greets these men and women who are now defending the same things for which we fought and for which we offered all that we were and all that we hoped to be.

We want to be the Big Brothers, the Pals and the close friends of those young defenders. We want to serve as advisers when they seek advice; it is our desire to attempt to make their road just a little smoother, their great task a little easier, and above all, to make the success of their accomplishment secure.

For these reasons we offer you this information called from our own memorable experiences of 23 years ago.

(Signature)

Lynn U. Stambaugh

National Commander

THE SERVICE FRATERNITY

You are, or soon will be, a fraternity brother in the oldest fraternity on earth, a fraternity of men who have served their country. There is no closer brotherhood on earth, there never has been.

No one can explain it, no one can define the comradeship that exists among men who have served; it is an active, living brotherhood. Money cannot buy membership; preference finds no place on its rolls. It’s the service that counts. It’s service that pays your initiation and secures your membership. No one can take it away; nothing can take its place.

Your service is your initiation into the fraternity of all serviceman. That initiation may be a bit tough in places but it brings to the surface the fine characters of men; it also shows up the other side in some. It brings everything to the surface. There is nothing hidden during that initiation. We can visualize your experiences. We went through it and therefore we hope that we can make things better for you by giving you a brief outline of what may be ahead for you.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

First, you are an individual worthy to defend liberty and freedom. You have chosen to preserve that for which many have died to obtain and to defend. You are to wear the uniform and the insignia of the grandest organization on earth.

Second, you are now a comrade of every man and woman who has served, or is serving under the flag of United States; of Washington, Jackson, Grant, Lee, Custer, Roosevelt, Pershing, and all the rest. After your service is completed you will find no way or preference among your comrades.

Third, you are going to have a lot of new experiences, many of which will seem very hard and burdensome as you pass through them but which will appear some time later as interesting and amusing experiences.

Fourth, you’re entering upon a new life and it will be somewhat difficult to make adjustments. The service has its regulations and traditions. They are sacred to the service so do not try to change them. They are older than you and each regulation exists for some good reason. They are worth has been proven by experience – and hard experience at that. So accept them as they are and conform yourself to them.

“The service is just what you make it.”

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1945 on Monday. Dan and Paulette are still in France,Lad is home, Dick will be soon, Ced is still in Alaska and Dave is in Manila, the Philippines.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (2) – Lad is in the Army

page 2     5/10/42

It’s too bad you boys can’t claim exemption on account of paralysis of your writing fingers. As far as I know secondhand, Dan is too busy planting flowers to write, no word having come from him this week. This could be born with more fortitude if the phone had run last night and a voice said, “this is your son, Dan, at the Bridgeport railroad station”. I must say he is impartial in his neglect as Barbara is considerably burned up about her inability to get letters also.

I did get a postal from a Mrs. Beckwith of Roanoke Rapids, who very kindly wrote what she calls a “keeping -in-touch” card to me telling me she had met Dan, was inviting him to supper and had a son of her own about his age in the Army.

Ced @ 1945          And I seem to have lost my pulling power with you, too, Ced, for in spite of my splendid example of invariably writing to you backsliders once a week, come hell or high water, I can’t seem to get either of you on a weekly schedule. I hope Lad will do better because it will be pretty tough having three boys away and not hearing from any of them regularly. I know it’s tough to have so exacting a father, but that also you can blame on the war. Maybe I’ll stop writing for a month or so and wait for you to ask some questions. It’s too easy having home news sent to you without any effort once a week. Maybe you wouldn’t mind it so much at that, and then where would I be?

And speaking of asking questions, Dick was asking today if Ced wouldn’t write him what the labor situation was at present at the airbase, if they still needed men and was still paying the same salaries. From a few remarks he has dropped I surmise jobs and salaries here do not compare favorably with his Alaskan experience. In your next (?) letter home, Ced, tell us a bit about how you are getting along with your flying, which you haven’t mentioned for months. Was your boss successful in getting a deferment for you? Have you filled out your questionnaire yet?

This week I managed to get three packages off to you which I hope will arrive in time for your birthday. Two of them are from Read’s — not much but just to let you know you are not forgotten. I also sent direct a box of miscellaneous junk. A couple of small items will gladden Rusty’s heart when he is confronted with an overdone batch of apricots cooking on the stove all night. Be sure to let me know when they arrive so I can put in claims for them if they are lost in transit.

Among news briefs are these: A new gray line bus now runs to Trumbull, up Reservoir Avenue, as far as Ray King’s place just beyond the Merritt Parkway. Wardens have a washing machine, his present to her for Mother’s Day. Next month she has to go to the hospital for a minor operation.

Blog - Lilac Bush

Speaking of Mother’s Day (today) Aunt Betty thoughtfully arranged a bunch of lilacs (which are now in bloom) on the dinner table today in memory of your mother. Yesterday at the Town Hall I united a couple in matrimony. Lad is trying to sell his car. He is trying to get $750 for it. He paid $900. On account of tire and gas rationing the market is none too good. If he can’t get $700 for it he will store it for the duration.

The following letter from Grandma: “I have been on the half and half sick list since February 16th. The first two weeks Dorothy had to stay out of school to care for me. It made it pretty hard for her because she wanted to keep up with her studies along with doing the housework. I am feeling much better. My heart was quite bad for a while. You may be surprised to know we are both staying at Kemper’s, who have moved into this lovely large house which they are renting. They are renting their own house. Last Sunday Kemper and Ethel left for Vermont to be gone until next Tuesday. I would like very much to make you a visit and enjoy the lilacs but it may be some time yet before I can and by then the lilacs will be gone. What an experience Ced is having.”

Tomorrow, The Induction Booklet presented to Lad at the Shelton Railroad Station on May 14th, 1942. 

Special Pictures on Saturday and Sunday.

Judy Guion 

Trumbull – Dear Far-offs (2) – Local Bits and Pieces – May, 1942

Ced @ 1945

page 2 of 5/3/42

The mail from Alaska this week revealed the fact that Ced, inspired by war customs, has been building up a reserve of letters and launched quite a heavy barrage all at once. Rusty added an epic of humor which caused great grins but had to be suppressed from general perusal by feminine eyes. It was sort of a “low–down” on Ced’s activities and it was quite far down, at that. It will make good reading when Dan next shows up in these here parts. Ced’s letter, containing an interesting installment number two on his rescue expedition, a birthday letter to Lad, and news that these two ex—New Englanders have again moved, forsaking their cabin for more prosaic quarters in town. We were all much relieved to hear from Ced and to know he is O. K. and has nothing new to report armywise, a message to Carl, which has been dutifully delivered, and a comment on improved radio programs complete a very brief summary of his letter. Shoot em’ along as you write ‘em, old scout, and don’t hold out on us for so long a period, please.

Yesterday Lad got notice from his draft board to appear for another physical examination this coming Tuesday and in another envelope, a formal notice to report for duty in the US Army at Derby, Conn., R. R. station on May 15th. If his company succeeds in getting a further deferment for him, as they will probably try to do, it may alter his plans, which are to go to New York soon and find out what he can do about enlisting in the Naval Reserves.

Barbara, I hear, received a letter from Dan, in which he states that if posterity inquires what he was doing to help win the war, they should be told he was planting flowers in front of the Roanoke Rapids Armory.

Mr. Burnham writes he is back in New York again with his old advertising agency. He does not say where he is living or whether the family came back also, but I heard a rumor that he had bought back his old Larchmont Gardens house again.

Among minor items of interest is the fact that Monday, I registered, along with other oldsters, at Center School, the apple blossoms are in full bloom and the lilacs are within a day or two of coming out. Next week I suppose I will have to apply for sugar rationing cards and the week following, gasoline rationing starts. Dick has not got his retreaded tires yet but hopes to do so this week.

Aunt Betty is enclosing a violet,  which she picked herself for you from the cement Terrace flower bed, and with this gentle little thought, I will bring this May Day letter to a close.

DAD

The rest of this week will be devoted to Lad’s entrance into Uncle Sam’s Army.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll post more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion